Passed over in draft after draft by MLB clubs, Tre Hobbs will launch his pro career in the independent Frontier League. The former Delta State star reportedly has signed with the Southern Illinois Miners, who are based in Marion, Ill. Don’t be surprised by any success Hobbs might have. The 5-foot-10 left-hander from Greenville won 22 games over two seasons at Delta State, posting 15 complete games and tossing four shutouts. He was a consensus All-America pick in 2016, when he went 13-2 with a 3.18 ERA. He wasn’t as dominant this year but still won nine games with a 4.18 and 90 strikeouts in 92 innings, helping the Statesmen reach the NCAA Division II World Series. He threw a brilliant three-hitter in a CWS elimination game. … The Frontier League, which has been around since 1993, claims a large number of alumni who have signed with affiliated teams and made the big leagues, including former Ole Miss pitcher Matt Duff and ex-Mississippi Braves hurler Brandon Cunniff.
Tre Hobbs didn’t arrive at Delta State without credentials. He was an All-Stater at Riverside High in Greenville in 2013 and an All-MACJC pick at Mississippi Delta Community College last year. But did anyone really expect the 5-foot-10, 160-pound left-hander to get off to this kind of start for the Statesmen? Hobbs improved to 5-0 for 10-7 DSU with a 5-3 win against Union on Saturday. Trailing 3-2 entering the seventh (two of Union’s runs were unearned), Hobbs benefited from a three-run rally fueled by a Colton Welch home run. Hobbs then finished off a complete game seven-hitter. For the year, Hobbs has a 1.62 ERA, 28 strikeouts and 10 walks in 33 1/3 innings. He was 5-4 with a 4.12 ERA for a 20-27 Delta CC team last year. While Hobbs has a much better supporting cast at DSU, he also appears to have risen to the challenge of tougher competition in NCAA Division II.